Still certified: Lessons from the world of facilitation

Still certified: Lessons from the world of facilitation

How do you know that a facilitator is good? Apart from observing them personally, you can look at the International Association of Facilitators’ Competency Framework. As a IAF Certified™ Professional Facilitator, I am required to show how these competencies are developing in my work and recertify my skills every three years. One part of that process is an essay about lessons learned in the past years.

You can find a […]

4 reasons to start your meetings with a check in

Circle by Helen Titchen-Beeth

Check ins are a fundamental ritual in nearly every meeting I am involved in. I use them because:

Check ins invite presence. The ritual marks the transition from whatever came before the meeting to now, the time together. It allows us to leave our emails, our todo list, our family crisis behind and take a moment to arrive. Check ins allow connection. The ritual asks us to show up with […]

Useful resources for hybrid meetings

Useful resources for hybrid meetings

This post is part of the preparation for CoCreativeFlow’s workshop “Hosting Hybrid Meetings” on 12-13 November near Frankfurt. Are you joining? 

What is a hybrid meeting?

Lucid defines them as follows: “A hybrid meeting refers to the physical location of participants. In a hybrid meeting, a subset of the people attending the meeting is located together in the same place. Other participants join the meeting by conference call or web conference.”

Hybrid […]

Yes, you need a Code of Conduct.

Flickr/Transition Network

Originally published in the IAF Global Flipchart – for facilitators, by facilitators.

“Our event is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment of participants in any form.”

— from

Many facilitators work with ground rules, a set of […]

Diversity and inclusion in facilitation

Photo: Peter Bury

A few short notes from an Open Space conversation at the IAF EME Conference #agilefac2019 in Milan. We discussed the role of facilitation in promoting diversity and inclusion:

How can facilitators work to balance dynamics of power and privilege in groups? What’s a facilitator’s responsibility to prevent harm? How can facilitator’s help to promote equity and inclusion? 

Diversity is important. It’s also a complex topic that humans – and facilitators – struggle […]

Retrospectives: a cocreated toolkit

Retrospectives: a cocreated toolkit

What can facilitators learn from agile retrospectives for our own practice and debriefings? Last week, Karen Schmidt, Edith Steiner-Janesch [1] and I co-hosted a workshop on this topic during the European IAF Conference in Milan.

Retrospectives? Why, what, how?

We first introduced agile retrospectives as part of an iterative life cycle, based on the book “Agile Retrospectives” by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen.

Next up @AgileFac2019: @wiebkehere & @overthefencePM […]

Mixing a World Café at scale

Mixing a World Café at scale

Imagine a room of nearly 200 people from five global regions and different functions across one organisation. This was the first meeting of this kind, and we wanted to encourage everyone to build relationships across the organisational silos and learn together about challenges and opportunities facing the organisation. A World Café seemed an obvious inspiration: multiple conversational rounds at small hosted tables, with participants switching tables (and groups) between rounds.

Usually, […]

Hosting a workshop

Hosting a workshop

This article was originally written as guidance for workshop organisers during an open space meeting in October 2016.

This is a place where civil rights activists meet to discuss change. During our three days together, we have plenty of space for spontaneous sessions as well as for pre-organised ones. What happens in your session is up to you: a workshop, a lecture, networking, practical action… Here are a few […]

Questions for organisations working on momentum for sustainability

Questions for organisations working on momentum for sustainability

Originally written for the recertification process for the IAF Certified Professional Facilitator designation in 2016

How can organisations influence change in complex environments?

Most of our facilitation work is with mission-based organisations and NGOs, especially around sustainability. Our clients do important work, trying to change the world for better. However, they also know that fixed command-and-control plans do not take into account the ever-changing realities of their work. At the same […]

Practice Notes: The Workshop Book

Practice Notes: The Workshop Book

When I facilitate, I take notes. Lots of notes. I come with a set of notes, including the workshop design and process plans. I have checklists for the preparation of the venue. During the meeting, I jot down notes, names, observations. At the end of each day, I review the process, adjust the original design and rephrase questions. Over the years, quite a stack of these notes had assembled in […]